State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed that with a solid foundation
of traditional, faithful relations, Vietnam and Laos have many advantages and
great potential to sharply increase the scale of cooperation.
Ho Chi Minh received Lao President Souphanouvong at the Viet Bac war zone in 1958.
(Photo: VNA Document)
On the occasion of the 60th
Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and
Laos (September 5, 1962 - September 5, 2022), President Nguyen Xuan Phuc gave
an interview to the press about the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive
cooperation between Vietnam and Laos.
VNA would like to
introduce the full text of the interview.
- Would Your Excellency
please rate the importance and significance of the great friendship, special
solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos?
President Nguyen Xuan
Phuc: Vietnam and Laos are two close neighbors like twins, separated by only a
mountain range, sharing the same Mekong River, having a longstanding and
traditional relationship. The people of the two countries consider each other
as brothers and sisters, and often share, support and help each other in all
Based on the cohesion originated
from natural conditions as well as the history of the two peoples with the same
desire to gain independence and freedom and under the leadership of the
Indochinese Communist Party, the predecessor of the Communist Party of Vietnam
and the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP), with resolute revolutionary
will, the people of Vietnam and Laos stood up to fight for power in 1945, then established
the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) on September 2,1945 and the Lao Issala
on October 12, 1945.
The glorious victories of
the Lao revolution in particular and the Vietnam - Laos fighting alliance in
general in the following years led to the signing of the Geneva Agreement on
Laos on July 23, 1962 recognizing the independence, sovereignty and territorial
integrity of Laos.
Only two months later, on
September 5, 1962, Vietnam and Laos officially established diplomatic relations.
This is a milestone marking a new development phase of the two countries'
relations in the modern era.
Since then, the fighting
alliance of the army and people of Vietnam and Laos has been increasingly
tightened, both on the military front and on the diplomatic front. Solidarity
and faith, the spirit of "rice grain divided in half, vegetable stalk shared
in half" led the two countries' revolutions from one victory to another, especially
the Great Spring Victory of April 30, 1975 in Vietnam and Victory on December
2, 1975 in Laos.
1972, the Vietnam - Laos alliance successfully carried out the defense campaign
of the Chum-Xiengkhouang - Soui field,
firmly protected the strategic area of the Lao revolution. (Photo: Luong
Entering a new phase,
facing the requirements and challenges of the construction and development in
each country, on the basis of a deep awareness of the meaning and importance of
the special relationship between Vietnam and Laos, on July 18, 1977, the two parties
signed the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, affirming their firm
solidarity and strong commitment to cooperation, mutual support and assistance
in the cause of building and protection of independence, sovereignty and
territorial integrity of each country.
Over the past 45 years,
this Treaty has become a valuable and extremely important asset, a solid legal
basis for the two countries to constantly expand their special friendship and
comprehensive cooperation. The treaty is also a premise for the two countries
to sign a series of cooperation documents and agreements in all fields of
politics, foreign affairs, security, national defense, economy, trade,
investment, education and training …
It can be said that the
special relationship between Vietnam and Laos was laid by the great leaders of
the two nations, President Ho Chi Minh, President Kaysone Phomvihane and
President Souphanouvong, and built with sweat and blood of many generations of
leaders, soldiers and people of the two countries and has been increasingly
consolidated, constantly developing, becoming an exemplary model of fidelity,
purity, sustainability, "unique" in relations among nations.
The long-term close
history of the two countries has proved that: Without the fighting alliance and
special solidarity between Vietnam and Laos, the previous cause of national
liberation struggle of the two countries could hardly have achieved complete
victories. The work of the Fatherland protection and construction, in the
period of renovation and integration in each country, could not have achieved
great achievements like those of today.
- Could Your Excellency
tell us about the most outstanding achievements in the relations between the
two countries and the highlights of recent times?
State President Nguyen
Xuan Phuc: In the past 60 years, although the world and regional situation has
had many complicated changes, advantages and challenges, it can be affirmed
that the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation
between Vietnam and Laos has been steadily developing, becoming more and more
extensive, substantive and effective.
Political - foreign
relations are increasingly attached and given more mutual trust with delegation
exchanges, high-level and regular contacts on all channels. The two parties
strive to maintain and promote the effectiveness of bilateral cooperation
mechanisms at all levels, sectors and localities, and coordinate to well
implement high-level agreements at all levels. The close coordination and
mutual support at multilateral forums have contributed to protecting the
interests, enhancing the prestige and position of each country in the region
and in the world.
cooperation is constantly being promoted, continuing to be one of the important
pillars in the special Vietnam-Laos relationship, contributing to firmly
ensuring independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country,
as well as a peaceful and stable environment for development and cooperation.
Economic cooperation has
achieved many positive results, bringing practical benefits to people and
businesses of both parties. Two - way trade has been growing at double digit year-on-year
recently; Two - way turnover in the first 8 months of 2022 reached more than 1
billion USD, an increase of more than 20% compared to the same period last
Vietnam is always the
third largest investor in Laos with more than 200 active FDI projects and total
capital of more than 5 billion USD. Cooperation in education and training is a
strategic cooperation in the direction of focus on high quality. Cooperation in
other fields, such as energy, transportation, culture, health... has been
continuously consolidated and deepened. Cooperation between localities,
especially between bordering provinces, is increasingly promoted and
Although there are still
shortcomings, up to now, there have been thousands of ODA development support
projects, cooperation projects, programs, and grants from Vietnamese ministries,
agencies and localities, which have been set up, deployed and promoted
effectively to help Lao friends.
Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic,
the two parties have given each other timely and effective support in finance,
medical equipment and supplies, and assigned medical staff in pandemic
prevention and control, etc. The two countries always provide the spirit support
each other in every situation.
The newly - built Lao
National Assembly building which is the gift of the Party, State and People of
Vietnam to the Party, State and People of Laos was handed over and inaugurated
in 2021. This has become one of the symbols of the special relationship between
Vietnam - Laos in the new period.
The newly - built
National Assembly Building of Laos - a gift of the Party, State and people of
Vietnam to the Party, State and people of Laos. (Photo: Pham Kien/VNA)
The recent operation of
the Laos - Vietnam international port in Vung Ang, Ha Tinh has contributed to
helping Laos have a way to the sea. Along with that, cooperation constructions
and projects with the imprint of Vietnam - Laos friendship have been implemented
more and more in the beautiful country of Champa... Notably, Unitel telecommunications
joint venture (Viettel) which has run their operation since 2009, is currently
the largest modern network operator, meeting 57% of the Lao market’ s need.
- How does Your
Excellency wish to see the development of comprehensive cooperation between
Vietnam and Laos in the coming time?
President Nguyen Xuan
Phuc: Personally, in many positions, I have worked closely for many years and
contributed to the development of the Vietnam - Laos cooperation relationship.
With deep affection for the brotherly country of Laos and the relations between
the two countries, I always wish and believe the great friendship, special
solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos will continue
to be nurtured by generations of leaders and people of the two countries, bloom
and bear sweet fruit, bringing benefits to the two peoples.
With a solid foundation of
traditional, faithful relations, Vietnam and Laos have many advantages and
great potential to dramatically increase the scale of cooperation. That
requires both partiess to have high determination, strong efforts, and improve
Firstly, It is necessary
to proceed the heroic revolutionary tradition of the previous generations,
jointly preserve and constantly strengthen the political relations to orient
the overall Vietnam-Laos special relationship on the basis of creative
appliance of Marxism - Leninism, Ho Chi Minh Ideology and Kaysone Phomvihane Ideology.
State President Nguyen
Xuan Phuc and General Secretary and President Thongloun Sisoulith performed the
Hand - over Ceremony and inaugurated the Lao National Assembly building - a
gift from the Party, State and people of Vietnam to the Party, State and people
of Lao (in Vientiane, on August 10, 2021). (Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA)
Secondly, it is essential
to jointly make effort to elevate economic cooperation into a pillar worthy of
the special Vietnam - Laos relationship, new cooperative mindset with many firm,
breakthrough measures, and promote internal resources and open up new
opportunities for international cooperation; build an independent and
self-sufficient Lao economy with open international integration. The focus is
on promoting trade, investment and business cooperation; expanding connectivity
in energy, telecommunications, transport, transferring Laos' goods to Vietnam's
sea to the global market; taking care and promptly solving difficulties and
problems of businesses...
Third, on the basis of a
reliable political foundation, it is important to strengthen the pillar of
defense - security cooperation to jointly maintain a peaceful environment,
political stability; firmly protect independence and sovereignty; promptly
prevent all plots of "peaceful evolution," opposing and discrupting
relations between the two countries.
Fourth, the two parties
continue to consider education, training and human resource development as a
strategic cooperation field with a "breakthrough" nature, not only
serving the development needs of each country, but also contributing to the deep
affection and solidarity between the two countries; coordinate more closely to
improve the quality of enrollment, teaching and learning in order to better
meet the needs of the Lao labor market.
Finally, the two parties
promote propaganda and education about the traditions of special relations and
comprehensive cooperation of the two countries, with diverse, practical and
effective forms associated with concrete cooperation results in life, so that
people of all walks of life, especially the young generations of the two
countries, can strengthen their faith, join hands in preserving, cultivating,
developing and renewing the traditional friendship between the two countries.
In the exciting
atmosphere of the "Year of Friendship and Solidarity between Vietnam - Laos,
Laos - Vietnam 2022" and the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of
diplomatic relations between the two countries, we firmly believe that under
the wise leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Lao People's
Revolutionary Party, the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive
cooperation between Vietnam and Laos will continue to be consolidated and
raised to a higher level, development, self-independence and prosperity for the
peoples of the two countries, contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and
development in the region and the world.